Steve Hart's Property Report podcast

Property Report 9 for W/E 10 November

First-time home buyers struggling to save a 20% deposit to put down on a home were thrown a lifeline this week with the launch of a website called Levridge.

The Auckland-based company acts as a gateway for investors and home-buyers to help each other. In essence, the investor pays the 20% deposit and the home buyer pays the mortgage and everything else. They jointly own the property under a co-ownership agreement.

When the property is sold the owner and investor share any profits (capital gain) 50-50 and the investor get their stake back. But there is no guarantee of any capital gains.

However, there are a few catches that might make home-buyers think twice before locking themselves into the minimum 5-year agreement.
The home buyer must have medical insurance, income protection and life insurance. And these don’t come cheap. Plus they need to make the mortgage payments, pay rates and maintain the property.

As for the investor they become 2nd mortgagee on the title so the home can’t be sold without them knowing. However, things could become sticky if one party needs to sell before the 5-year agreement is completed.

To organise this financial marriage Levridge charges an upfront fee of $7500 plus 5% of the capital gain when the property is sold.

If the idea of co-ownership appeals then consult with a lawyer before paying the upfront fee.

Industry lobby group the Real Estate Institute says there are now 70 organisations supporting its plan to have the property management industry regulated by the government.

Bindi Norwell, the institute’s CEO says regulation is required to create an industry where all property managers operate ethically and with honesty and transparency, where tenants are looked after, and where landlord’s assets are protected.

Kiwi property seekers across the country were squeezed for choice with fewer listings to choose from says Vanessa Taylor of Real Estate
It reports that new listings were down nationally in October by 17.1% when compared to October 2018 and the total number of houses for sale were also down by 13.1%.

In Auckland, October listings were down almost 20% with 3,566 new properties coming onto the market.

Wellington was down 8.4% in Wellington (to 757 listings) and down 21.6% in Canterbury (to 1,393 listings).

It’s a different story in the Central Otago/Lakes region, where the total number of homes for sale was up 9.6% (to 628 homes) compared to October 2018.

Average asking prices were up across the country in October with the Bay of Plenty, Wellington, Nelson & Bays, Wairarapa and the Central North Island all hitting 13-year highs.

However, Taylor says it looks like high-priced properties are taking longer to sell.

Taylor also says that the majority of those looking at property in the Wairarapa region are located in the Auckland and Wellington regions. She says it seems city dwellers are seeking a lifestyle change.

The Overseas Investment Office has approved 249 applications from people with residency visas to buy homes since restrictions on overseas ownership were introduced in October 2018.

Since the rules were changed the O I O has received 276 applications from permanent residents to buy a home to live in. More than 90% of applications were approved, with 27 being declined or withdrawn by applicants. The total value of the homes that have been consented is $165 million to date.

Auckland was the top region for consents (74), followed by Canterbury (25) and Wellington (20).

Applications have been received from citizens of 30 countries. The highest number of applications came from citizens of the United Kingdom (30%), followed by Chinese citizens (24%). South Africa and the United States.

The NZ housing market showed further signs of strengthening across the board in October says property data firm CoreLogic.

The CoreLogic QV House Price Index showed that nationwide, average property values rose by 0.4% in October and the annual growth rate increased from 2.4% to 2.8%. The strongest annual rate of growth since February 2019.

In the year to October Auckland average values are down -1.5% to a hair over $1million. Wellington is up $730,000 and Dunedin up to $486,000.

Outside our largest cities, many of our provincial centres went from strength to strength when ranked by annual growth. In the year to October average values in Gisborne (17.7% p.a.) were $445,772 and Rotorua (13.4% p.a.) $557,485.

In Whanga?rei the annual rate of change was down (-1.4%) entering negative territory for the first time since April 2013. Average values there are $546,000; making property unaffordable for the locals.

The Bank of New Zealand’s net profit in the year to September was a hair over $1bn.

A Hutt City Council has implemented what it is calling Plan Change 43 which allow medium density residential housing of up to three storeys in eight suburban areas. It is also reducing barriers to infill housing and minor dwellings.

Lower Hutt Mayor Campbell Barry says the city is facing population growth and insufficient housing supply.

Fifty nine people are moving off the Social Housing Register and into a brand new home, with the opening of a new Salvation Army housing complex in Royal Oak, Auckland.

The 52-unit apartment block was opened this week. And 59 tenants – some of whom have been on the Social Housing Register for up to five years – will move in. The housing development was Funded by The Salvation Army, a $4m Government grant and loans